Darren Turner, Stefan Mucke and new team-mate Jonny Adam finished round four of the FIA World Endurance Championship in sixth place at the Nürburgring in Germany on Sunday.
All three drivers pushed hard throughout the six-hour race so were ultimately disappointed with a sixth place finish, rather than their usual front-running form.
Turner and Mucke qualified the #97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE in seventh place on Saturday, below their usual top three grid position. All of the Aston Martins have been handed smaller restrictors in balance of performance changes since Le Mans and the resulting reduction in power became very apparent on Saturday.
Turner said: “It’s puzzling as neither of us could get a good time out of the car in qualifying. It wasn’t just the balance of performance changes as we were also off what the other Aston Martins were doing so it’s a bit of a mystery at the moment.”
Mucke started the race and he made a good getaway, taking sixth place early on. Richie Stanaway in the #99 Aston Martin found a way past Mucke after a few laps but just a few minutes later Ferrari’s championship leader Gianmaria Bruni stopped on the track with a technical problem and the #92 Porsche received a drive through penalty for jumping the start so this boosted the #97 Aston Martin up to fifth place.
Just before the close of the first hour, Mucke pitted from sixth place to hand over to Turner, who, despite his best efforts, couldn’t get any more speed out of the car and remained off the pace.
There was a change in the second half of the race when all three drivers found they could run at the pace of the other two Pro class Aston Martins.
The Chacombe driver added: “It was one of those weekends that are very confusing, Fortunately they don’t come around very often but when they do they really leave you scratching your head.
“The balance of performance changes affected all of the cars and I struggled more than the others in the first stint. We need to make sure we are on the pace for the next round.”